Rambling On

Anthony R. Cardno's Fiction and Commentary

Archive for the ‘actors’ Category

“The Show Needs An App!”

If you had told me ten years ago that I’d have a chance to interview Sean Astin, someone I’ve been a fan of since The Goonies, I’d have laughed. Honestly, if you’d told me even two years ago, when I started doing interviews for this site, that I’d interview Sean, I’d have been skeptical. But it’s happened. Sean recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for his radio show Vox Populi: The Voice of the (Occasionally Interested) People. I’ve listened to the show, and I think Sean does exactly what he says in the show’s mission statement: he brings people together to talk civilly and calmly about the hot topics of the day, without regard for sound-bytes or better ratings. It’s about talking, and about listening.  So I backed the Kickstarter, and took a chance to ask Sean if he’d do an interview for my little personal website. He agreed to it, “after I run the Chicago Marathon.”  So here it is. It’s a short interview, but hopefully we get across why Vox Populi is a project worthy of being funded and more. As of today, there are 4.5 days left in the campaign, and it is funded… but Sean would like to hit the $60,000 stretch goal to build the show an app. The video at the end of this interview explains why he’s so passionate about this despite adding it late in the campaign.  I’ve seen KS campaigns raise much more than $20,000 in much less than 4 days, so like Sean I believe it can be done.  But enough of me …

 

ANTHONY: Let’s start with an easy one: After such a strong acting career, what led you to start a political radio talk-show?

 

SEAN: Well, I think I would have done some kind of political show regardless of my career. My mom was president of the Screen Actors Guild and hosted a morning tv show in LA when I was a kid. So, the desire for citizenship and using my voice was placed in me by my family. The fact that I’ve been blessed with a long career, just makes the transition easier. Lots of people are familiar with my name, so it’s easier to build an audience. At least on paper, encouraging people to see someone in a different light, particularly when it’s politics, takes work. Also, it’s not the only thing I do. In fact, it’s a hobby for me at this point; a hobby that I’m extremely passionate about, but it’s not about money, yet. It might be in the future. I am currently acting in a show for FX with Guillermo del Toro directing. So, life, particularly with my wife and three daughters is sailing by. The political show gives me the satisfaction that on some level, I hope, I’m making a difference!

 

It’s Our Time For An App!

ANTHONY: Your focus is on “civil discourse,” and I really admire the way you let people have their say, even if you disagree with them. But I’m sure people wonder: what would make you cut a discussion short or lose your cool with a guest?

 

SEAN: Ha! Fun question. Well, as the HOST I get to disconnect the call if someone flouts the premise of the show and behaves in an uncivil manner. I might get nervous about doing that, but I would do it because I must protect the integrity of the show. I think in most instances, when people are directed to “be nice” and then given the time and space to express themselves, they usually become the best contributors. I lose my cool sometimes at events in the world, Sandy Hook, Benghazi… but I believe that the HOST role carries responsibilities and I like to be responsible.

 

ANTHONY: I’m sure you get this all the time, but I have to ask: what was your favorite part of filming The Goonies (one of my top five life-time favorite movies)? And, more seriously: can you tell my readers about your marathon experiences and the #Run3rd movement?

 

SEAN: One of my favorite things about making The Goonies was driving onto the Warner Lot and feeling like a big shot. The pirate ship, Dick Donner, Steven Spielberg, My Goonies friends, the Crew, Waterslides…it was a great adventure. I love talking about running. I would direct your readers to my Mission Statement and our official Run3rd.blogspot.com site. Just know that I choose now to dedicate my runs to people, causes, ideas. I declare before 5k’s,10k’s, 1/2 & Full Marathons that I “#run3rd for (insert person etc..)” It started as a twitter campaign, which offers a prompt to people to make dedications themselves. When I or you or anyone dons the emblem #run3rd on their clothes or whatever, they are said to be running on behalf of all of the dedications. I ran 3 marathons this year, LA, SF & this month, Chicago. These events inspire the heck out of me. I just love the challenge, the community everything. Running is more than a sport to me, it’s a sacred experience!!!

 

ANTHONY: And my usual closing question: what is your favorite book, and what would you say to someone who has never read it to convince them that they should?

 

SEAN: I don’t know anymore. I studied English and History at UCLA. At certain periods of my life, I was a voracious reader. In recent years, I haven’t dedicated myself to reading very much. It saddens me to say so, but it’s true. I think when I was kid, I was probably A.D.D. That may have come back. My usual answer is Candide, by Voltaire. It sound high faluten, but basically it’s a great adventure story with a powerful bit of philosophy and morality mixed in for good measure.

 

ANTHONY: Thank you again, Sean!  Now, what’s all this about “The Show Needs An App?”

 

 

 

And finally, most importantly: the Kicstarter page. All you need to do is go to www.StartTheVox.com.  That will take you directly to the Kickstarter page where you can see all the Backer Rewards Sean is offering, as well as Sean’s original video explaining the show and the project, and of course, where you can back the project yourself. Every little bit helps!

 

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Zach Callison

Through my interviews with Sam Lant, Brandon Tyler Russell and Austin MacDonald and my friendships with their parents, I’ve become connected to a small group of young actors who have interesting projects (film, radio, television and charity work) to share. My latest interview from this “Burbank gang” is with Zach Callison. Zach has a great number of voice-credits under his belt that may be familiar to any of my friends with small children who watch Disney Channel. Zach’s also heavily involved in charity work. Since Zach’s celebrating his 16th birthday today, it seemed like the right time to post our interview.

ANTHONY: What was your first professional acting job?

ZACH: I began working in St. Louis when I was eight years old.  I booked a local grocery store commercial.  Following that I booked a small role in an independent film entitled ‘Kingshighway’. It was then that I knew I wanted to work in film and television and began working on my parents to help me pursue my dream.

ANTHONY: What is your favorite type of performing?

ZACH: While I love voice over work and have done quite a bit of it, my first love is on camera film and television. I am so excited that I just recently booked and worked on camera role.  It is my first love.

ANTHONY: How did you book the role of Prince James and did you work with the director on creating the character?

ZACH: Booking any voice over role requires recording an audition and sending it in. The studio will usually do a call back session and put you through the paces by giving direction to see if you can follow it and still deliver what they need. Prince James’s voice is my natural voice only with a little more energy.  James is a positive character with a lot of spunk.  It is usually the actor who creates the voice for the audition and gets the job if the director and studio likes what they hear.

ANTHONY: Has anything in your approach to the character changed as you moved from the movie script to an on-going series?

ZACH: Not really.  Doing a voice over role requires consistency so that the character is recognizable throughout.

Zach is Prince James in “Sofia The First”

ANTHONY: Do you think “Sofia The First” is not only entertaining but also educating younger children? If so, what lessons is the show imparting?

ZACH: ‘Sofia’ is an amazing show in so many ways.  It is teaching lessons through stories.  It is a departure from the recite and repeat formulas of so many shows targeting young children.  The lessons imparted are morally based like kindness, sharing and belief in oneself.  I hear from parents all the time how much they like watching the show with their children and the lessons they learning.

ANTHONY: Who do you play in the upcoming DreamWorks feature film “Mr. Peabody and Sherman”? What was it like to record it?

ZACH: I play King Tut in the film.  I love the voice I created for this film.  It was so much fun to record and Rob Minkoff who directed the film was amazing to work with.  My mom is so excited about this film as she remembers the original cartoon and the episode with King Tut.

ANTHONY: It was one of my favorite cartoons, too. Can’t wait to see the movie. You’re not always acting. What do you like to do in your spare time?

ZACH: I am a big gamer.  Right now I am obsessed with League of Legends.  I play online with my friends and I am looking to begin league tournaments soon.  I can’t get enough of it!

Zach in the studio recording “Sofia”

ANTHONY: What charities/causes are most important to you?

ZACH: I am a Youth Ambassador for Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.  I promote the organization and educate others about the importance of protecting our oceans and ocean life.  Sea Shepherd campaigns in the Southern Ocean have been filmed and documented by the Discovery Channel for the show ‘Whale Wars’.  They are a direct action organization making a real difference!

Other causes that I support are helping the homeless via ‘Little Red Wagon’, ‘LA Mission and Habitat for Humanity, as well as children’s charities like ‘Ronald McDonald House’ and the Children’s Hospitals of LA and Orange County.

ANTHONY: I’ve interviewed Zach Bonner recently about how he started the Little Red Wagon Foundation. How did you get involved?

ZACH: Zach Bonner and I met when I went out to support him when he was finishing his walk across the country.  I made the last 3 mile journey with him to the Santa Monica Pier.  We have become friends and I have been supporting him and his organization in any way I can.  I recently arranged the space and rounded up some of my friends to help him stuff backpacks with school supplies for homeless and under privileged kids.  We are also looking for more projects in the future to work together and bring funds and awareness to homeless youth.

Zach’s next project
on Cartoon Network

ANTHONY: What other acting or charity projects do you have coming up?

ZACH: I am so excited about my new show on Cartoon Network titled ‘Steven Universe’.   I play the role of Steven.  The show is hilarious and I laugh in the studio every time I record.  The show is airing later this fall.  Rebecca Sugar is the creator of the show and she holds the title of the first female show runner.  She is incredibly talented and our cast is fantastic.

I am also working on a new project that I can’t say much about at this time. It is being produced by Sean Hayes and Todd Milner and it is hysterical.  I will share more when I can, but I am thrilled to be working on camera again with an amazing cast and crew.

ANTHONY: And my usual closing question: What is your favorite book?

I haven’t had a lot of time for recreational reading lately but one of my favorite series of books is the ‘Hunger Games’.   I loved the action and the character development of the books and the theme of the story is semi-original.  Only second to a Japanese film titled “Battle Royale” released in 2000.

ANTHONY: Thanks for chatting, Zach!

ZACH: Thanks Anthony for the opportunity!

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Jennifer Summerfield as Nora
in Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House”
photo by Kyle Cassidy

I’ve been following photographer Kyle Cassidy for a few years now, from Livejournal to other social media. His wife, Jennifer Summerfield, is a wonderful NY/Philly area actress who also goes by the nom-du-0nline Trillian Stars.   Jennifer was recently in a really unique production of Henrik Ibsen’s A DOLL’S HOUSE, and Kyle decided the production needed to be filmed. A Kickstarter was put in place to get the filmed production out there in front of the public. Here, Kyle and I talk about how the production came about, how the play was filmed, and what you can do to take part in this really wonderful project.

 

ANTHONY: You’re in the midst of a successful Kickstarter campaign to create a filmed version of the recent production of A DOLL’S HOUSE performed in the Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion in Philadelphia. First, can you tell us a little bit about the Mansion itself?

KYLE: It was built and occupied at almost exactly the time Ibsen’s play is set by a local businessman very similar in economic situation as Torvald and Nora [the protagonists in A Doll’s House] and it’s been preserved as a museum, so all the furniture and things like that are period. Though because it’s an actual building that people have lived in and not a set there are some things that aren’t period — it has, for example, electricity, and this is one of the conceits of having both the play and the video done there — we just accept that the Helmer’s had electricity. There’s also a burglar alarm that’s visible in some of the shots, we camouflaged it, but you can still see it in a couple shots if you know what to look for. So there are a few things, but the wallpaper and the carpets and the drapes and things like that are accurate and were collected by experts over a period of years so it’s the most accurate set you could really hope for. You’re just surrounded by the time period.

The mansion’s open for business and they do tours and a few years ago they started doing limited run plays in the space, which is how A Doll’s House happened to be done there.

ANTHONY: What is it about the Mansion that made it such a great space to mount a production of A DOLL’S HOUSE, and what makes this particular production so unique?

KYLE: The director of the play, Josh Hitchen’s is a very well known actor and director in Philadelphia; he’s famous for doing extremely intimate one-persons shows in small venues that force the audience into the play — he loves claustrophobic environments that delete the stage and put nothing between the audience and the action, so he’d been eyeing the Maxwell mansion ever since he’d first seen it. In many cases it would be difficult to get really great actors to commit to doing a full-length play that was going to run for only five performances because you’re taking a big pay cut — there are only so many audience members you can fit in that space, so you might think an actor would rather do some big play that runs for two months but Josh had an enormous number of connections from actors he’d directed or acted with before and, he had the fact that it was this great play but he also had the mansion to dangle in front of people like a great carrot. So he was able to assemble an incredible cast of very experienced actors that a lot of other people wouldn’t have been able to, partly because of the play but partly also because of where it’s being performed — in a place like this, there is no backstage — every place you go keeps you in character. It turned into one of those things where the director was able to lure a dream team into a dream theater to perform a dream play — it was a perfect storm.

ANTHONY: What influenced the decision to film the production after the show’s run ended?

KYLE: During the rehearsal process I kept saying to people “you’re taping this right? you’re hiring a film crew and you’re doing a three camera shoot of one of the performances right?” And people were like “that’s a great idea, but we’re really busy making a play.” And I think, the day before the play opened I thought “well, it’s not going to happen if I don’t do it.” So I contacted a video crew, I contacted the mansion and got an OK from them, the mansion was great, they gave me two dates that I could have the run of the place after it was closed to the public, and once I had the green light from them I contacted the actors and the director to see if they’d be able to run the play again and there was this deflating response where I found out that two of the actors were already in other plays and there was no day everybody was able to be there.

Production poster for
“A Doll’s House”
photo by Kyle Cassidy

Initially I was just thinking that it could be shot with three cameras during a regular run and everybody would be out of there in two hours. But with not having certain actors who were in scenes together the entire way in which we had to go about shooting it changed. We were forced to shoot out of sequence and this turned out to be a very great thing; we couldn’t just cover the room with three cameras anymore because not all the actors would be in the rooms together, I thought, well, now there’s no need to just stick in the one room they did the play in. This opened up everything else, and it meant we could put the cameras wherever we wanted, we could do multiple takes, we could shoot the whole thing more like a movie and less like a play. This made it a lot more expensive, a lot more time consuming and a lot more difficult to do, but it also made the final product a lot better. So we shot on two different days with different members of the cast each time. Each day was somewhere between five and ten hours — I can’t remember exactly — but cameraman Brian Siano figured out the breakdown of what scenes to do in what order to keep the actors there the shortest period of time and we went from that master list. Josh Hitchens, the director, had blocked the play, meaning figured out where everybody moved and stood, with the audience in the room in mind and when we got there, we threw a lot of that out the window. And we had to work really, really quickly. We’d figure out what scene was next, bring in all those actors, they’d do a really fast run-through of the scene as it had been staged and while watching this, Brian and I would figure out camera placements or even what room in the house to do it in, and we’d set up the cameras and do another super-fast run though and re-block the scene and the actors would sort of wing it and we’d move along to the next scene.

If someone comes over to your house and sits down in the living room with you and talks for 15 minutes, they sit in the same spot. Nobody gets up unless they’re going to get something, but you can’t do that in theater because the audience will get bored, so there’s a lot of movement put into blocking. People sit on a chair for five lines, they get up, they look out the window, they turn around, they sit down somewhere else, that kind of thing, and boring the audience is, in cinema, something you can avoid also by moving the cameras, so we did a lot of that — we could have the actors stay in one spot longer and cut back and forth between different camera angles.

ANTHONY: Some of my tech-minded friends will be upset if I don’t ask: what equipment was used to film the production, and what equipment are you using to edit the film into its final form? And why that equipment?

KYLE: We were using Panasonic Micro Four Thirds cameras mostly because of the size and the availability of fast, wide lenses. I think we used a 14, a 20, and a 45mm. There were a couple of shots we did with a Nikon d800 and an 85 1.8. The camera kits pack really small. Which was an advantage. We had two tripods only one of which had a video head on it, meaning that it could do smooth camera movements, so one camera was usually fixed and the other followed the action. Not having a lot of gear made things less complicated by not having to worry if we were using the right thing. We had two cameras and four lenses, so all problems had to be solved with two cameras and four lenses.

The audio was recorded on a separate device so that we weren’t using the on-camera microphones which would be catastrophic when switching back and forth between microphones in different parts of the room.

I’m not exactly sure what Brian’s editing it with, Final Cut or Premiere probably. One thing that the Kickstarter gave me the leisure to do was to hire an editor and not worry about a lot of that — it lets you just find someone who’s good at doing whatever bit of your thing and let them do it and you go on and worry about other stuff.

ANTHONY: The original goal of the Kickstarter was a modest $1,400. With 13 days to go, you’ve doubled that. What sorts of stretch goals have you added, both in terms of benefits to the project and added production value to the backers?

KYLE: I see all these ridiculously ambitious Kickstarters all the time. You know, someone’s like “I need $25,000 to go to Paris and write a poem at the top of the Eiffel tower” or what have you and they end up not getting funded and it always leaves me thinking how on Earth did you need $25,000 to go to Paris? Are you staying at Versailles? and it turns into an episode of “name that tune” in my head where I’m like “I could do that project for X dollars” — So, what I was looking for initially was pretty much just the amount of money I’d need to pay everyone for what they’d done and have nothing left over and a DVD without a slip case. That’s what I can do this for and not go broke. And really, to me, the only important thing out of the gate was that the play not get lost forever. So after that when we sold more copies I was able to give the cast a bonus and we were able to add a high-definition blu-ray version of the play and the options just get better from there. One thing about physical products like this is that they get cheaper to do the more you get — so right now if we can get to the point where I can print 1,000 copies of the DVD everything gets MUCH cheaper to do, so I can add all sorts of other stuff, I can add more graphics to the package, I can hire a sound designer to do music, I can add more special features, I can go back to the Maxwell mansion and shoot more stuff — the play takes place at Christmas so I’ve been hoping that it will snow and we can rush back and get some footage of the mansion in the snow. We could also re-shoot some scenes outside which would add more depth to the whole thing — the mansion is really beautiful and I think being able to bring the audience outside would be superfantastic. So it’s basically one of those “the more people buy it, the cheaper it gets to make and the more I can do” — so a 4 page booklet becomes an 8 page booklet becomes a 12 page booklet, and so on.

ANTHONY: I’m hoping the final 12 days of the campaign will bring in enough money to add that music in and some of those other extras. Last but not least, what is it about Ibsen in general, and A DOLL’S HOUSE in particular, that makes this work so classic and so long-lasting?

KYLE: The play is about a woman who undergoes a dramatic change in her perception of the world — she realizes not only that what she’d thought of as a perfect life — and one that from the outside all of her friends thought was perfect — isn’t perfect, but she realizes that the entire basis of society is wrong. She realizes that she’s a person and she’d been living her life as a possession. It was controversial when it came out because so much of the way society in Europe and America functioned was on the idea that women were property and that they had a role and a duty to play and people thought it was just crazy talk that a woman would do things without her husband’s permission. When it was performed Ibsen was forced to write an alternate ending where after giving her great monologue at the end Nora quickly recants — which is as silly as a Bowdlerized version of Romeo and Juliet where they all get up at the end and say “ah, the poison wore off!” and they skip away and Montague and Capulet throw a big bar-b-q for everyone in Verona. A Doll’s House only works if the play challenges, and is allowed to successfully challenge, things that are wrong with the way things are. So I think that gave it a good start; apart from being a very well written play. Another thing that’s kept it alive for so long and held it dearly in people’s hearts is that it’s one of a very few great roles for a woman to play. Theater is littered with plays about men, anybody can list a bunch of iconic roles that can make a male actors career — Hamlet, Stanley Kowalski, Cyrano, Lear, Willy Loman; there are all these great dramatic parts, but so much of theater is about men and the women’s roles in the plays are supporting. Lady Macbeth is a great role as far as Shakespeare’s parts for women, but the play’s called Macbeth, not Lady Macbeth. I think it’s very common for a lot of theaters to do not just one, but many consecutive seasons without a single play that’s about a female character. Plus Nora’s a really complicated individual who goes through a range of emotions that give an actor an opportunity to really show off what they can do.

ANTHONY: Thanks, Kyle!

You can still contribute to the A DOLL’S HOUSE Kickstarter. There are 12 days left. Don’t miss out on this.

Oh, and if you live in the Philly area, you can also catch Jennifer as another iconic female of the theater — Lady Macbeth — in The Hedgerow Theater’s MACBETH, which runs from now through November 17th. If you go, and get to meet Kyle and Jennifer, tell them Anthony sent you!

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Brendon Eggertsen
photo by Justin Baker

Through my interviews with Sam Lant, Brandon Tyler Russell and Austin MacDonald and my friendships with their parents, I’ve become connected to a small group of young actors who have interesting projects (film, radio, television and charity work) to share. My latest interview from this “Burbank gang” is with Brandon Eggertsen: actor, radio engineer, aspiring stuntman and … monkeyman?

 

ANTHONY: Hi Brendon! So, let’s start out with the most obvious question: when did you start acting?

BRENDON: Age 10, while in Michigan. When I was 11, I competed in IMTA (International Model Talent Association) and got my manager from there. Julie Abrams from Dreamscope Entertainment. We moved out to California so I could pursue my love of acting, my siblings and dad are still in Michigan.

ANTHONY: What was your first role?

BRENDON: Take Me Away—played in a flashback of one of the main characters, I get beat up by my father.

ANTHONY: Who are some of your favorite actors / biggest influences?

BRENDON: Adam Sandler (he is so funny), Jim Carrey (he’s amazing) Brad Pitt (he’s a great actor) Tom Cruise (love how he does his own stunts), Will Ferrell (love his acting), Charlie Sheen (he is just cool)

ANTHONY: I have a lot of friends who are horror movie fans. You were in Paranormal Activity 4. Tell us a bit about that experience.


BRENDON: Loved going to set every day. It was a lot of fun and not scary at all.

ANTHONY: Are you a big fan of horror (movies or books)?

BRENDON: I am not scared very easily, actually it’s pretty impossible. No one has been able to spook me.

ANTHONY: Okay, so you’re not easily scared, but what are some of your favorites?

BRENDON: I do enjoy the old school Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm street movies.

Photo by Robin Eggertsen

ANTHONY: You also had a role in Adam Sandler’s “Just Go With It.” Tell us about that character and what filming was like.

BRENDON: I loved it!!! I played Arial, Keven Nealon and Heidi Montag’s son who falls and scrapes his knee. Adam gives me an injection in my knee and he slaps me across the face. It was great to improv with him.

ANTHONY: IMDb reports that you’re also in the cast of an upcoming film called “Pass The Light.” What’s that about, and what’s your role in it?

BRENDON: I play Francis, the school nerd. It is a Christian based film with a great message about making others happy and not judging because someone is homosexual, but loving people for who they are and giving everyone a chance.

ANTHONY: It’s nice to hear about a Christian-based movie that’s not automatically anti-gay. I know you recently took over as the sound engineer for the internet radio show “Beyond The Spotlight.” Did you have an interest in sound-engineering before you took the job, or is this something you’re learning as you go along?

BRENDON: Learning as I go along, but I really like it. I love music!! I am also a drummer.

ANTHONY: What personal touches are you bringing to BTS (music style, harrassing the hosts, etc)?


BRENDON: I love Music, I have a great connection with the hosts, Sam Lant is my best friend, some say we have a bromance. I will also have some funny side comments as I go along.

ANTHONY: Any projects coming up that you’d like to tell us about?

BRENDON: I do not have any current projects coming up but I also am a stunt kid and I am perfecting my fighting, falls, rappelling, trampoline, flipping, parkour, and freelining.

I am also a big supporter of the Gibbon Conservatory Center. I love Monkeys and apes and this is a way for me to hang with them. One of my nicknames is monkeyman.

ANTHONY: Tell us more about your work at the Gibbon Conservatory Center.

BRENDON: I have always liked monkeys and so when I got the opportunity to work at the Gibbon Conservatory Center in Santa Clarita I jumped at the chance. Gibbons are actually apes not monkeys and they are also the musicians of the ape families. Their calls are amazing and that is how they mark their territories. My mom and I volunteer. I work on their clean-up crew and docent (welcoming visitors, and answering questions). When I volunteer at least 20 hours, I might have the opportunity to feed them, which I hope to do. The center has 40 Gibbons and 5 of the 17 different species are represented there.

ANTHONY: And my usual closing question: What’s your favorite book, and what would you say to someone who hasn’t read it to convince them that they should?

BRENDON: I hate books and reading. I am one that likes to always move, so sitting down and reading is something I have never been fond of.

 

You can follow Brendon on Twitter as @brenegg, find him on Facebook, IMDb, on Instagram as btotheegg and his own website.  And of course you can hear him working the sound board for BEYOND THE SPOTLIGHT every Saturday at 10am Pacific time, with hosts Sam Lant and Mandalynn Carlson.

 

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Faustino Di Bauda

We all know how much I love ONCE UPON A TIME. A few weeks back, I interviewed actor Michael Coleman, who plays Happy the Dwarf on ONCE. That was the first of what I hope will eventually be interviews with all of #Team7. Here’s the second. Through Twitter  (@faustinodibauda) and Facebook I’ve had the chance to chat with Faustino Di Bauda, who plays Sleepy/Walter.

 

ANTHONY: Let’s start with the usual: what inspired your love of acting and where did you get your start?

FAUSTINO: As a kid growing up in suburban Vancouver I always loved live performances, plays, TV shows and movies yet I was excited and terrified when put on stage and therefore dismissed the notion of acting.  My 1st language is Italian and when I was young I often struggled with finding the words to express myself properly.  As I grew up I discovered I was quite good at sports which offered me a stage and I would perform and get recognition thru my actions. If I won they would cheerJ.  Sports were: running, baseball, rugby, football, wrestling and boxing. Wrestling was the sport I excelled at most.

It wasn’t till in my mid thirties that I got the nod for acting.  I got into a series of automobile accidents getting hit from behind on a Saturday and then again on the following Sunday from the side and later a year later hit again. At the time I was a self employed Stone Mason and due to these accidents my work was difficult to do, so underwent physical therapy to mend myself and in doing so discovered yoga.  Later I met a Swami at a yoga workshop who invited me to a yoga retreat in India. I wanted to go but was financially strapped at the time until one day as I was returning to my car after a doctor’s appointment I discovered my automobile was struck from behind and was a total loss and the insurance company purchased it from me and then I had money and went to India. That day at the doctors I was on my way to my car about 5 minutes earlier and was stopped by the receptionist to sign some paper work and if I wasn’t I would have been in my parked car when it was hit. A lot of things were going thru my mind at the time but something told me to stop driving and go to India so I did.

At the retreat I was feeling pretty good and one day at the ashram I was joking around with the Swami’s and one the Swami’s asked me if I was an actor which I replied no and then he said that I should become an actor. So a year and half later, more therapy, yoga, another trip to India and a bunch of meditation made the realization and took the steps to become an actor. So life inspired me to become an actor I guess J and started my training at Lyric School of Acting.

ANTHONY: How do you typically prepare for a character or scene?

FAUSTINO: First by reading the material presented to me by my agent, doing as much research as possible for character, show, movie etc., building the dialogue of the scene(s) auditioning for to memory, What is it about? What do I want? What are my obstacles if any? Relationship, emotional prep. Etc.  Building as much life as possible using my life’s experiences and If I believe it then hopefully so will you.

Sleepy….

FAUSTINO: It was my very 1st audition that my agent sent me out for TV and film. Met the casting agents, performed in front of a camera the scene, did so 3 times with different instruction each time. Later I was asked to wait in the hall for a bit. Later that day (20min), I was called in again and asked to perform in front of the Director and Producer where they asked me to do the scene 4 different ways and then said thank you. A week later was called in again to meet the other dwarfs minus Grumpy who was in LA and they taped us all 6 together in character which they sent back to Eddy and Adam I presume to view.  That was a Wednesday and I got the call from my agent that following Tuesday that I got the partJ

ANTHONY: What has been your favorite Sleepy scene to film in the first two seasons of Once?

FAUSTINO: The excitement of my 1st day on set ever for ONCE and my 1st ever professional day of work would have to be it. That was the scene in the pilot where Grumpy and Sleepy are in look out for the curse, I fall asleep and Grumpy says Sleepy wake up and then he rings the bell as the curse comes. Meeting Lee that night and him taking me under his wing and having fun doing what we do was amazing. My favorite Storybrooke  moment would have to be ep.3 s1 (“Snow Falls”) where I`m Walter the security guard who once again falls asleep while John Doe aka David goes missing.  Was another special day but honestly everyday on ONCE has its own magic and is always special moments as they`re so many of them.

… aka Walter the security guard

ANTHONY: I know from talking to Michael Coleman that there is a real camaraderie between the members of #Team7. Did you know any of the other actors prior to joining the show, or did the friendships develop after you were all cast?

FAUSTINO: The only actor that I met prior to joining the show was Mig Macario aka Bashful. The friendships did indeed develop over time working together and over time meeting up on and off set. Love all my cast matesJ

ANTHONY: Of course, after the season two cliff-hanger, we’re all anxious about whether we’ll see #Team7 and the rest of Storybrooke at all in season three. Adam and Eddie, the producers, recently said that “Storybrooke won’t be forgotten.” Have you gotten the call to go back to the set yet?

FAUSTINO: I would love to answer that question but my response is tune in and find outJ

ANTHONY: Well, you can’t blame a guy for trying, right? Haha You’ve appeared in a few other sci-fi/fantasy shows, so I’ll ask you the same question I asked Michael: are you naturally drawn to sf/f shows and movies? And if you are, why?

FAUSTINO: Good question, Vancouver has a long history of sci-fi/fantasy shows going back to X-Files so it seems to be what Vancouver is known for I guess. I like all kinds of cinema and shows but must admit I was a Trekkie growing up and a huge LOST fan as wellJ Why? Probably the fantasy portion of the entertainment is what draws me to the work.

ANTHONY: I’m also a big LOST fan! Now, you also have a feature film coming out in the near future. Tell us about SEVENTH SON and your part in it.

FAUSTINO: Yes I do. Looks like it should be coming to cinemas’ January 2014. I play a Innkeeper and had opportunity to meet and work with Jeff Bridges who is one of the leads in SEVENTH SON. Here is the movie trailer  and the IMDB page. I can’t really say too much about it but looks pretty good!

ANTHONY: And my usual closing question: What is your favorite book, and what would you say to someone who has never read it to convince them they should?

FAUSTINO: Shoeless Joe by W. P. Kinsella which is the book that the feature film Field of Dreams was made from. I love the story for its simple message of “if you build it they will come.” It represents to me the power of our creations and that alone should convince anyone.

ANTHONY: Thanks, Faustino!

I wonder who on #Team7 I’ll get to interview next…

#Team7, flashing signs

 

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Michael Coleman and Happy

It’s no secret I’m a big ONCE UPON A TIME fan. I follow most of the cast on Twitter, and Michael Coleman, who plays Happy, is one of the friendliest and out-going of an incredibly friendly and out-going cast. Michael’s face is easily recognizable to genre tv fans not just from ONCE, but also SMALLVILLE, EUREKA, STARGATE ATLANTIS and others, and his voice can be heard on a number of fan-favorite cartoons, including HAMTARO.  I was flattered when he graciously agreed to an interview.

ANTHONY: Let’s start with a fairly standard question: how long have you been acting, and how did you get your start?

MICHAEL: This is never an easy question to answer. I think we’re all actors from birth. We all master the art of play, self-delusion, suspending disbelief, and/or behaving truthfully as children playing together or with imaginary friends. Somehow, somewhere down the line I just started getting paid for it. My foray into the professional world came during my days as a stand up and improv comedian. A professional actor in the audience saw me one night, had a good time and bridged an introduction to his agent. Asking only that I pay it forward someday. Which is coincidentally a major reason I started my acting schools. (I wonder if that actor knows what an impact he had on my life or career?)

ANTHONY: Looking over your website, it seems like you’ve done it all: stage, radio, voicework, television, movies. Is there any form of performing you haven’t done that you would like to?

MICHAEL: I have been fortunate to have a curious mind. I have performed in every fathomable kind of performing imaginable but there are always new stories, new stages and new artists to collaborate with that motivate me to always want to go deeper, bigger and venture into further unexplored territory.

ANTHONY: You’ve done quite a bit of voicework for animation. Who have been your favorite characters to voice? 

MICHAEL: While they are all like my children, and choosing one would seem unfair, I loved voicing a character named Stan on a series called Hamtaro. It was an incredibly cute series, where we sang, told cheesy jokes, had our own language… AMAZING! In recent days I have been auditioning for iconic characters I have loved since I was a young boy. Due to non-disclosure agreements I can’t offer specifics at this unfortunately, but I recognize the incredible opportunities I’ve been afforded in life. Living proof that hard work can pay off and all of your dreams can come true.

ANTHONY: Other voice actors I know have talked about how hard it is to get a “starring” role in animated television and especially films these days. Your demo reel for voicework on your website has so many recognizable character types and accents. What’s your experience been? Is it just as tough to transition from character actor to lead in animation as it is in live action work?

MICHAEL: I really approach every character in the exact same fashion regardless of the size of the role. They all have common framework in their construction and the work needed and regardless of the size of role you play, we truthfully are all smaller pieces and serve the real star…. which is “the story”. Regardless of the number of lines or scenes we have… we all want something from someone, get it or don’t, have strong feelings about it,… risk losing something if we don’t get it… Apologies for getting all actory here LOL.

ANTHONY: As someone whose career has been so varied, is there any noticeable difference in the way you prepare for a tv or movie role versus cartoon voicework?

MICHAEL: The voice work often has far less prep time and requires instincts and training to be at an all time high. You need to be incredibly sharp and work your voice every day because you often get way less time with the scripts, you move through the material much faster, you often play multiple characters in a scene or show… That being said you can show up literally in your pyjamas and once you get started you’re pretty much the focus until it is all said and done.

ANTHONY: Once Upon A Time. Smallville. Stargate. Fringe. Eureka. I’d bet that you have one of the most recognizable supporting character faces in American genre TV (even though you’re Canadian). Do you gravitate to sci-fi/fantasy shows by choice?

MICHAEL: I am without question a sci-fi/fantasy fan at heart and always have been this way. It is surreal sometime to play characters in stories you would love regardless of from a cast member or fan point of view. In fact, I think it is always special when you are both a fan and a cast member. Those shows are always incredible to work on. Once Upon a Time is most certainly one of these cases. Most of us are enormous Disney and Fairy tale fans and our reverence for the iconic roles we play is hopefully transparent to those who watch the show.

ANTHONY: Why do you think genre fiction, from fairy-tales to comic-books, is still such a powerful draw for people?

MICHAEL: A great question. Stories, all art truthfully, provide society many, many gifts. It is a chance to see how our moment in time perceives the past, present and future. The artist’s mandate is to educate and/or entertain, hopefully achieving both. Recent times in America, and throughout the world, have seen an increase in fear politically, spiritually, philosophically… The discussions that are happening are BIG world issues with very few sitting on the fence, choosing to take a strong position in either direction. When this happens we often see a rise in opportunities for escapism or desires to be lost in other worlds that champion the ideals and characteristics we wish to see in the world. Sci-fi/Fantasy have always created ground breaking opportunities to safely explore “better” or “different” worlds we wish we could live in, cheering on leaders we would follow. You may have also coincidentally noticed a resurrection in Zombie films/shows in recent years as a direct correlation to the societal perception of masses losing individual voices, over-comsumption at record highs, disregard for anything but wanting MORE MORE MORE… Our stories, our “art”, allows society a break from reality to reflect on who want to be, who want to know, who we want to lead… So, I will take this time to offer you a first scoop exclusive… I nominate GINNIFER GOODWIN for President of the United States of America 🙂

In costume as Happy, with Happy

ANTHONY: I have to ask about your experience on Once Upon A Time over the past two seasons. The dwarves are break-out fan-favorites who could probably support their own show (or at least mini-series). There’s even an official Twitter hashtag, #Team7.  Is the cameraderie as strong in real life among the actors?

MICHAEL: We get along like real life brothers. I have three younger brothers in real life and this is all very familiar territory for me. We have always joked about a web or mini series during the hiatus of “The Hovel” so fans didn’t have to wait so long between season.

ANTHONY: What was your favorite Happy scene to work on over the past two years?

MICHAEL: Episode 21 in season one. Where we stormed the castle. No matter what else happens in life I can say that happened. I think the cast grew stronger as a community during this time too. And they let me shoot a flaming arrow, a crossbow and do some Kick axe sword and axe play!

ANTHONY: I saw a tweet from Lana Parilla that filming on OUAT season three begins in mid-July. I’m sure you can’t answer this directly, but we’re all dying to know: any word yet on whether we’ll see the dwarves back soon?

MICHAEL: The fans often know before I do. Happy is always Happy to hear from fans who give him the scoop on when he’s back on the show! LOL And we’re all excited about the spin off too. Once Upon a Time in Wonderland has some amazing talent behind it and will give everyone twice the love next year!

ANTHONY: You also run the Vancouver Acting School. Tell us a little bit about the school’s history and goals.

MICHAEL: As I mentioned above, I opened it as a means to “pay it forward” to an actor who helped me early in my career. Our goals are to provide the most elite level training available in film, television and voice-overs by giving students a chance to work with some of the smartest, most working actors/coaches in the industry. We have several Once Upon a Time actors as coaches… The Fairy Godmother (Catherine Lough Haggquist), Stealthy (Geoff Gustafson), Granny (Beverly Elliot), as well as many other coaches who have appeared as other non fairy tale characters throughout the series; David Nykl, Alex Zahara, Nicholas Carella, Tony Alcantar, Ingrid Torrance, etc. etc. We have many of the other cast members; Michael Raymond-James, Lee Arenberg, Meghan Ory as regular guest coaches and speakers… and this year we have Josh and Ginny coming by as special guests!

ANTHONY: What other projects have you been working on? Where can audiences (US and Canadian) expect to see you in the near future?

MICHAEL: I also work as a screenwriter and I am developing a film with various friends from various sic-fi/fantasy series… I can’t leak official casting decisions but look for familiar faces from Stargate, Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek, etc. all in one crazy film.

ANTHONY: Because I’m a writer, I always close with this question: What is your favorite book, and what would you say to someone who hasn’t read it to convince them that they should?

MICHAEL: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy… and the reason? Because you will learn the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything… (Spoiler Alert! The answer is 42 LOL)

ANTHONY: That’s one of my favorite books, too. Thanks again for your time, Michael!

MICHAEL: Anytime! Thank you.

 

You can follow Michael on Twitter @1MichealColeman. You can learn more about Michael and view clips from some of the shows he’s been on by visiting his website, which has one of the most fun home-pages I’ve seen in ages. And you can find out more about Vancouver Acting School at their site as well.

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Signs of Our Occupy cast, in Oakland

I’ve featured a lot of book and webcomic Kickstarters on this page, so here’s something a little bit different: a theatrical Kickstarter. The students of Oakland School of the Arts are taking a very personal theatrical creation, “Signs of Our Occupy,” to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this summer, and they need help with production expenses. In the following interview, conducted through OSA theater teacher Michael Berry-Berlinski, the students of OSA talk about why this project matters and why you should help them raise as much money as they can:

ANTHONY: Hello OSA! Thanks for taking the time to chat with me about “Signs of our Occupy.” Let’s start with the easy question: what is “Signs of our Occupy” about?

“Signs of our Occupy” is an original theatre production consisting of 14 monologues, each expressing a unique perspective on the Occupy Movement. The show looks at issues and hot buttons that involved thousands of people in the Oakland area. The show is political in nature, but we do not take any particular political position. Instead, we offer commentary on the events themselves, as told through characters that are fictional in nature. Each of the 14 monologues are based on actual signs created by protesters in the movement. ~ Sarah

ANTHONY: Most of us were distanced from the Occupy movements (in Oakland, in New York, and elsewhere). They were just images on the screens of our televisions and computers. In the Kickstarter video, several of you talk about the events of Occupy Oakland happening just outside the school. How did it feel to be at the epicenter of something so large, so international?

Our school was at the epicenter of this movement in Oakland. This was exciting, yet at times, scary. Daily we heard the police, the riots, the protesters, the loud sounds of breaking glass. At times we felt like we were in a war zone, yet we knew that there were people marching in the street for a better Oakland. It was cool to see our school on tv, or to see friends and family in the crowd. There were a lot of times I was proud to be from Oakland, then other times when it was embarrassing to see people in my city doing so much damage. Being so close to the scene, feeling like we were a part of the movement, that was an experience unlike any other and it will stay with me for a very long time.  ~ John

ANTHONY: We rely on the Arts to put society under a lens and bring attention to important issues, but that scrutiny can be double-edged. Sometimes, we end up filtering the message so much that it becomes diluted and loses impact. In your stage production, how are you dealing with making the universal personal?

I think everyone has felt suppressed in some way or another in their life. What makes this topic appealing to an international audience yet very personable at the same time is that the themes are so relatable. People of all races, nationalities, social statuses all struggle at some point. We know this show will be recognizable to so many people because the themes of standing up for justice, community and solidarity are universal, yet at the same time they are very personable issues for people.  ~ Amy

ANTHONY: The format of “Signs of our Occupy” reminds me of shows like “The Laramie Project,” which has endured controversy and censorship/banning. Has there been any reaction of that kind so far to “Signs?”

We have not staged the show yet, however, we do see a mixed reaction when people learn we are doing the project. Most are very excited…..they think it is a cool concept and really important message. They also love we are doing it at Fringe and sharing Oakland with the world. Still others feel it was such a personal thing, that they are not 100% loving the idea of the show. ~ Lukas

What has the writing process for “Signs” been like? How are the monologues being crafted and refined?

All 14 actors have been teamed with 14 Literary Arts students from our school and we have all selected a sign that we connect with. From that, we began writing, giving a unique perspective in each of our stories. There are some pieces that are pro-movement, some that are anti-movement. All are personable and come from our own experience or point of view, through the fictitious characters we are creating. We are just wrapping up a 4 week revision process and now starting to move into the blocking phase of rehearsal.  ~ Cameron

ANTHONY: How did the opportunity to travel to Edinburgh come about?

Our Director takes a group to Edinburgh every 2 years to perform. This year we created this original work and then set out to raise the $60,000 to make the dream possible. We have booked our own airfare, hotels, venue space to perform, etc. It is a lot of work. We hope to continue on the success from 2 years ago at the Fringe and set the standard for other students inn our department to go in years to come. ~ Ashly

ANTHONY: The money from the Kickstarter will go to defray technical production costs so that the families of the students can concentrate on airfare, hotels, and other such costs. How intricately technical will the production be? Will there be a multi-media aspect, and if so, how is that being incorporated?

We will have sets, lights, sound and costumes to pay for the trip. We will have multimedia and video as well as some other special effects. Our show will contain music both live and pre-recorded. All of this takes money to create, buy rights to and then transport overseas. By contributing to our Kickstarter campaign, you play a huge role in helping us defray our costs.  ~ Elana

ANTHONY: Will there be an opportunity for supporters of the project to see the production? Will it be filmed, or performed in the US at a later date?

Yes! Our show will be performed in Oakland at Oakland School for the Arts Blackbox Theatre in June. It will be open to the public and of course, our AWESOME supporters! Tickets are $20 each and all proceeds will go towards our trip! Please stay tuned for show dates which will come soon! ~ Max

ANTHONY: What do you all hope the long-term effects of “Signs” will be, especially on other teenagers?

To expand the views of individuals and to allow them to think about revolutions and social change. We want people to leave the theater wanting to make a difference in the world around them. We hope to speak to a great human need of reclaiming the political space in which we live. Hopefully from this, people will remember our show and our message and how we were all represented in unity.  ~ Nia

 

And there you go, straight from the students’ mouths. You can find out more about the details of the Kickstarter and what perks backers can expect by going to the SIGNS OF OUR OCCUPY Kickstarter page.  If you donate, tell them Anthony sent you. They have 19 days left in the campaign and while they’ve already hit their $7,500 goal, the more they raise the better!

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This week’s interview is with Alivia Latimer, a young actress just starting out her career, with a lot of great family support, in Florida.

Alivia Latimer

ANTHONY: Hi, Alivia! Thanks for taking some time to chat. How are you?

ALIVIA: Hi Anthony! I am fantastic, thank you for asking!

ANTHONY: Let’s start off with the basics: How long have you been acting professionally, and what was your first job?

ALIVIA: I began my acting career in January 2011 when I started taking an on-going acting class. But it wasn’t until December 2011 that I booked my first job; a commercial for SeaWorld!

ANTHONY: Is most of your experience on stage or on screen?

ALIVIA: All of my experience has been on screen! I actually have never been in a professional theater production.

ANTHONY: You’ve done a lot of work on YouTube and the web. Tell me how you got started making and posting videos.

ALIVIA: About two years ago, I made a YouTube video with my little brother Caden entitled “The Silly Band Stealer” — a short video about a boy who steals Silly Bandz. (LOL) I got a few requests to make more videos, so “The Silly Band Stealer” become a miniseries!

I really have a passion for filmmaking, and have posted over a dozen short videos on my YouTube channel, which is currently under construction.

ANTHONY: Has posting your short films on YouTube helped make connections with casting directors?

ALIVIA: Not yet, although it would be so cool if a popular casting director saw my videos! (Preferably a Disney casting director! Haha)

ANTHONY: Tell me about your new project, “UnCovered”. What is it about?

ALIVIA: The story follows four kids who embark on a journey to uncover the mystery that lies within an old diary they find while camping out in the woods on the darkest night of the year … October 31st, 2012.

ANTHONY: What was your writing process like while you were working on the script? Did you plot it all out ahead of time, or make it up as you went along?

ALIVIA: Since “UnCovered” is a series of multiple episodes, I pretty much just make it all up as we progress. I mean, I know what I want to happen, so I just need to get it out of my head and put it into words!

ANTHONY: Did you write the characters with specific local actors in mind, or did you cast them after you’d created the characters?

ALIVIA: Most roles were created and then cast later on to local actors with little acting experience. I wanted to give the new kids a chance. But we have a mixture of beginners and professionals in the series, which gives it a nice balance.

Alivia’s more serious look.

ANTHONY: Who else is in the movie, and have they done any other filmed work?

ALIVIA: Our principal cast consists of Anthony Porrey, Allie Hendron, Kalil Hamdaoui, Ben Kyle, and myself. This is Ben’s first time acting and he’s doing a phenomenal job! Kalil has done a short film, and a lot of commercials/print! Allie and I actually worked together on an independent film earlier this year, and Anthony is just getting started in the business. So as I stated before, we have a nice mixture of beginners and professionals!

ANTHONY: How long did it take to film, and where?

ALIVIA: Well, we are taking it one episode at a time. One episode a month from July-December is the plan! We are filming around the Tampa area in cast members’ houses, parks, bike paths, and even in the woods!

ANTHONY: Did you make any changes to the script based on things that happened while filming? 

ALIVIA: Yes! Right before we were about to shoot, an actor cancelled on us. So I changed things up, wrote in an entire scene with dialog and the actors memorized it in like, five minutes! The scene turned out great!

ANTHONY: When and where will people be able to see “UnCovered”?

ALIVIA: The trailer is up now and you can see it at youtube.com/UnCoveredWebSeries. The first episode premiered on October 31st, 2012 on that same YouTube channel, and episode two is up as well.

ANTHONY:  Okay, now let’s talk about your acting. What other projects have you done recently? Didn’t you spend some time shooting at Disney in Orlando?

ALIVIA: Recently I have been working on tons of short and independent films, web series’, commercials, and print shoots. So you can say I’ve been BUSY! My most recent commercials are for Universal Studios Orlando and Disney World!

ANTHONY: How do you prepare for your auditions?

ALIVIA: If it’s a commercial audition, I practice facial expressions and my “happy commercial voice”! I also research any past commercials for that client and see if there is anything I can add to my performance to “wow” the casting directors. If it is a TV or Film audition, I watch Disney Channel/Disney XD sitcoms like “Lab Rats” and “A.N.T Farm” to study the actors’ comedic timing and facial expressions! I love Disney shows!

ANTHONY: The Disney shows are a lot of fun, for sure. A lot of the teens I interview are involved in charitable causes. I know you are too — what causes do you support and how can people help?

ALIVIA: I am a huge supporter of Jaylen’s Challenge Foundation, which is a non-profit anti-bullying organization. I am very passionate about the subject of bullying and do all I can to help out my friend Jaylen! He is a very special 12 year old boy with a big heart. If you would like to learn more about JCF and how you can help, read Jaylen’s touching story at jaylenschallenge.org   Bullying No Way!!!

ANTHONY: And my usual closing question: What is your favorite book, and what would you say to someone who hasn’t read it to convince them that they should?

ALIVIA: I will admit I am not much of a reader, (unless it’s a script) but I have read this particular two part series called “iQ”. It’s about three kids that become involved with the FBI, CIA, and Homeland Security. It’s really intriguing if you like the mystery/ government/terrorism genre. Seriously, it’s so intense that once you read the first chapter, you cannot put the book down. I loved the series so much, I sent an email to the author asking if he would write a third book…and this is coming from someone who doesn’t read! LOL. So go check out “iQ” at your local library!

ANTHONY: Thanks again, Alivia!

ALIVIA: Anytime! Thanks so much for having me!

 

You can catch up on Alivia’s series unCovered on the Youtube channel and by visiting the series’ Facebook page. You can also learn more about Alivia by checking out her IMDb page, and you can follow her on Twitter as @alivialatimer.

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Adam Murciano

It’s another week of pure Canadian entertainment interviews here on Rambling On. Today we have young actor, and activist Adam Murciano; Wednesday we’ll chat with musicians and activists The Brothers Dube; and Friday we’ll close out with webcomics creator Gibson Twist.

Adam Murciano is probably most familiar to American tv audiences for his appearance in the Disney movie FRENEMIES with Bella Thorne and Zendaya. He’s more than just an actor, though, as you’ll see in the following interview.

 

ANTHONY: Adam, thanks for taking the time to do an interview. How are you?

ADAM: Anytime! Thank you! I’m great, thanks!!

ANTHONY: How long have you been acting professionally, and what was your first job?

ADAM: I’ve been acting my whole life, but in the professional industry – for 4 years.  My first acting job ever, was on a comedy television series called “Rent-A-Goalie” I played an Italian soccer-obsessed boy named, Tino.

ANTHONY: You worked on Disney Channel’s FRENEMIES. How was that experience?

ADAM: Working with Disney was a dream come true. It was such a fun time! The whole cast was so sweet! I still keep in touch with them! We all would go to school during the week, and film during the weekends for like two months straight! It was crazy, but so fun!!

ANTHONY: What are you working on now? Any new acting jobs coming up?

ADAM: Yes! I have a few projects already filmed, just in post-production…Can’t say anything just yet – but they should be out in 2013!

ANTHONY: A lot of the young actors I’ve interviewed have a charity or cause that is important to them that they use their celebrity to help support. What causes are important to you, and what can people do to support them?

ADAM: Giving back, and charity work is very close to my heart. I am part of an organization called “Blessing in a Backpack” with another fellow actor, Austin MacDonald. Blessing in a Backpack feeds kids in order to give them the nutrients and energy for school! Kids can be so mean, and make fun of others for not being able to afford meals, so Blessing in a Backpack does it in a private way so no one has to ever know! People can donate and read more about it here: http://blessingsinabackpack.ca/

ANTHONY: You know, I interviewed Austin a while back and we talked about Blessings in a Backpack.

ANTHONY: And my usual closing question: What is your favorite book, and what would you say to someone who hasn’t read it to convince them that they should?

ADAM: I know this is a common book right now, but for English class, we had to read the Hunger Games! And I’ve been hooked on the books since! I’d convince the person to read it because it is just filled with adventure and you can never put it down!

ANTHONY: Thanks again, Adam!

ADAM: Thank you!!

 

In addition to the links to his website embedded in the interview, you can also follow Adam on Twitter as @AdamMurciano and check out his Facebook fan page and his IMDbpage for updates on his acting work.

 

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This guest post is long overdue; I made a promise to Alex Dale over a week ago to run it, and then the holiday weekend and other life stuff got in the way. So, my apologies to Alex and to the rest of the Up In Arms comedy troupe. The work they are attempting to raise money for is important; funding future episodes of their web-show will help them raise even more money for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.  Here’s the information Alex sent me about the the fundraiser:

 

Alex Dale

Alex Dale, 16, aChildren’s Hospital Los Angeles Junior Ambassador and writer and creator of the comedy web series Up In Arms, recently donated $150 to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

The teenage mastermind behind the creation of Up In Arms was diagnosed with Scheuermann Kyphosis, a spinal deformity, in August 2010 and had to wear a back brace for nine months, which did not cure him and he continued to endure extreme back pain. In July 2011, David Skaggs, MD, Chief, Children’s Orthopaedic Center at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, performed a spinal fusion on Alex to correct the curvature of his spine.

 

There is currently inadequate information and research about Scheuermann Kyphosis. The Pediatric Spinal Deformity Endowment was formed to collect funds/donations to explore the disorder and to provide more treatment options for children so that they do not have to live with the effects of kyphosis into adulthood, which can leave people wheel chair bound.

In 2011, Alex launched his web series, Up In Arms, to raise money for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to help research treatment for children who are diagnosed with Scheuermann Kyphosis. It is described as a cross between The Daily Show and Saturday Night Live and is written in a humorous fashion, focused on social issues that teens are dealing with and to ultimately lend support for others who are struggling with spinal deformity.

“I want to assist other people who are suffering from Scheuermann Kyphosis and raise funds to help research alternate methods for treatment,” says Alex. Viewers can give back to the cause through the Up In Arms website, where 100% of the proceeds go directly to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Please visit http://www.indiegogo.com/UpInArmsComedyCharity?a=688746 to donate to production of the next episode and help UP IN ARMS raise money for this great cause.  Thank you.

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